North Somerset Core Strategy Issues & Options (October 2007)

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Comment Information

Comment Information
Document Section Core Strategy Issues & Options 8. The Future of our Towns and Villages 8.2 Question 5 [List all comments on this document part]
Comment ID 706241/CSI&O/1
Respondent Nailsea Town Council [List all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 22 Dec 2007
Current Status Accepted
Summary
Nailsea should be classified as a category B settlement to enable the town to become more self-sufficient and sustainable.
Comment
The town's aspiration is to be a sustainable and thriving community which offers a good quality of life for a broad mix of people, including young and old.
Nailsea has a lot to offer. Good transport links, with a railway station with direct trains to the West Country and London, a town centre with a wide range of shops and identified potential for growth (Donaldsons, 2006), health centres, sports centres, wildlife, a park and library all make the town an attractive location to live and work together with ensuring it acts as service centre for the surrounding rural communities.
However, the Parish Council recognises that Nailsea needs to tackle several significant challenges before it can achieve its aspiration.
a) Nailsea has an ageing population. This trend is more exaggerated than in many settlements as many of the town's residents moved to Nailsea at the same time in the 1960s and 1970s after it had become a new town. This is having an impact upon services, facilities and also housing.
b) Housing Stock. Nailsea has a higher than average proportion of 3 and 4 bedroom houses. This has major impacts at both the bottom rung of the housing ladder (where first-time buyers and young families are leaving Nailsea to find suitable accommodation) and the upper rung of the ladder (where empty nesters are blocking stock as they cannot find smaller, suitable alternatives).
c) Availability of employment land and opportunities to grow jobs. Out-commuting and the danger of becoming a dormitory town appear to be the main reason that Nailsea is classified as a Policy C settlement in the issues and options consultation paper. If we are to achieve our aim of becoming sustainable, we need to target growth in jobs to reduce out-commuting in a similar manner to Weston Super Mare.
The Town Council believes that these challenges can only be overcome if Nailsea is allowed to grow and concentrate this growth on the areas where it can address our particular needs. We feel there is a danger that the town will stagnate rather than thrive if locally significant development is ruled out.
The town must offer a choice of sufficient, affordable and decent housing in a range of types for family, single and older households. It also needs to offer enough employment to increase its self-containment and stem not only the flow of commuters but also the loss of expanding employers. To achieve its aspirations, the Town Council believes that the Core Strategy should designate Nailsea as a market town (Policy B) along with Clevedon and Portishead rather than a small town (Policy C).
We consider there are potential opportunities to accommodate locally significant levels of development and we have undertaken an initial sieve-mapping exercise to identify potential areas of search. We would like to explore these in further detail with North Somerset Council to examine how a pull-back of the Greenbelt boundary in certain locations may help us achieve our aim of targeted growth.
In order to understand the issues more fully and seek views from our wider population, we have commenced work on the development of a Parish Plan. The first stage consultation will feed back by mid-March and we would like to share the results with you around this time to inform your development of your preferred options.
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